I’m someone who loves to cook. As in, I usually cook all my meals at home. While I enjoy eating out, I don’t do it as often as I used to. And believe it or not, I despise doing take-out. I think it’s so over-rated, expensive and a waste of money. I’d sooner sit at a restaurant than ever pull up Uber Eats to order food. I know I’m in the minority on that one but meals just never taste the same from delivery. And the wait for the food to arrive is torture. When I’m hungry, I want to eat ASAP.
So this means that my kitchen is my happy place. How I dream of a big massive kitchen with a butler’s pantry and all the counter space in the world. Adding to the vision board. But I make my small but mighty galley kitchen work pretty darn well for me. Over the years I have fine-tuned all my tools and gadgets for the perfectly stocked tiny kitchen without unnecessary items. These are my tried and true kitchen essential master list.
My Master Kitchen Essentials List
Small Kitchen Appliances
A splurge, but an essential if you find yourself using a blender at all. I’ve made sauces and dressings in here that take seconds. And cleaning it is a BREEZE. You add a little soap, water, and buzz it up. Done. Clean. You don’t even need to put it in the dishwasher. My friend got me hooked on wanting one after he made us frozen margaritas one summer afternoon at the pool. I plan on trying ice cream and more frozen cocktails with it.
Breville Bambino Plus
I have a $20 coffee maker that is just, not great. So I have pulled out the big guns. If you love coffee or lattes, the Breville Bambino Plus is a machine you will love. It’s not too big and doesn’t have too many bells and whistles. You can make a single or double shot of espresso. And also steam your milk. It’s a splurge, but a great piece to own and you’ll have it for years to come.
I’ve had a Nespresso Pixie for years and years. While it’s great, I think mine had seen better days. I didn’t ever descale it and I think it failed me. I still think it’s a solid purchase and a much more affordable option for an espresso machine than the Bambino. Also, it takes up little space on the counter which is key for a small kitchen.
This made it on my best purchases of 2021 list. It’s my favorite thing in my kitchen and helps me save on food. I freeze so much stuff and it allows me to have a freezer full of great food.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
I got this as a Christmas gift many many moons ago. I love it so much and it really does do so much. I’ve made tons of great desserts in here from cookies to breads, and have even done cinnamon rolls and challah. But my secret weapon, use it to shred your chicken! There are several styles to choose from and all are going to last you a lifetime basically.
I’m torn on an air fryer, but if you have the space, why not. I use one by CRUX which is fine. Nothing special. If I had a big kitchen, I would get something like this instead and keep it on the counter and ditch my $10 Oster toaster.
Electric Tea Kettle
No more heating up water in the microwave, or waiting forever on the stove. An electric tea kettle is a perfect accessory for a tea lover. I also use this every day to make americanos since I never use my coffee maker anymore. Espresso and hot water, perfection!
Pots, Pans And Bakeware
Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Sheet Pans
These sheet pans are the best. Great quality, nothing sticks, easy to clean. It felt really great to swap out my college Target sheet pans with these.
Calphalon Non Stick Pans
I love my Calphalon non-stick pans. I use them every single day and like that they can go into an oven.
Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Baking Pans
I am slowly swapping out my college non-stick baking pans with the Williams-Sonoma goldtouch ones. I’d say any well-stocked kitchen should have a cupcake pan, loaf pan, two round baking pans, and one 9×9 square pan. The below-linked set is perfect and has everything you need!
Silpat Baking Mat
If you do any baking, I can’t recommend these enough. Absolutely nothing sticks to them. And they roll up nicely that doesn’t take up too much space. I swear by these!
Recently I made a really pathetic birthday cake for a celebration and a follower of mine suggested to upgrade my pans. Not only to this brand, but also to update the size. I got two 8 inch pans to do a classic two tiered cake. And three 6 inch pans for a fun three tiered one. She said the taller pans allow for more rise for a better looking cake!
Essential Kitchen Tools
A Good Knife
Before you do anything, before you buy that knife block, just buy these two knives. I swear. It’s all you’ll ever need and you’ll have them for life. A good knife will change the way you prep and cook. It’s one of those things that you just can’t live without once you have them in your life. A knife block is full of useless knives you’ll rarely use. What you need is a good chef’s knife and a paring knife. If you want a bread knife, fine, get one. But honestly, a good chef’s knife can do the trick unless you’re slicing bread every single day.
Swapping out my mismatched spice jars for these helped to make my tiny pantry feel more organized. They come with tons of labels too.
I use my tongs constantly. I specifically like that these don’t require you to push something in or out to open or close it. These instead open when turned right side up, and close when turned upside down and closed. It’s great. Makes it easy to use with one hand.
Instant Read Meat Thermometer
As someone who is a tad paranoid about undercooking chicken, having a meat thermometer is game changer. I updated my old school meat thermometer with an instant read one and it is simply the best. It also has the temperatures on the back for quick reference.
Serveware And Dinnerware
I prefer these over a metal straw 100%. Super chic looking too. And they wash really well in the dishwasher. I usually run the brush through them before putting them in.
These are from Target and only $25 for a set of 12. Nice and thin which is great, but they’re probably a tad fragile.
I’ve been using West Elm flatware for years. Love the matte black and the gold. They’ve held up well with all the washing. And yes, they’re dishwasher safe!
My favorite plate of choice for most of my meals. It’s not too big, not entirely a bowl, not a plate, it’s just perfection. I have regular plates both dinner plate and salad plate sizes, but I find myself eating most of my meals in these.
Image via Studio McGee
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